Important Update relating to Factoring Services Factoring Services- Important Update Regarding Covid-19
From Sam Cribb, Head of Highland Residential
9th April 2020
Grounds maintenance services relating to communal open spaces to start week commencing Tuesday 14th April.
I hope this finds you and your family well.
Since my last update, we have been continuing to review Government guidance and industry response and approach to ensure that we deliver an effective factoring service to our local communities.
Current Scottish Government guidelines indicate that services such as gardening can continue at present, so long as social distancing rules can be applied. This includes travelling to site with no more than one person in a van. We have been working with our contractors, the teams that supply our services on the ground, to overcome and manage the challenges faced by them.
I am pleased to say that our main grounds maintenance suppliers can work in accordance to the Government guidance and social distancing rules and continue to have the availability of staff to supply services. We have therefore taken action to commence grounds maintenance services relating to communal open spaces from Tuesday 14th April. We will continue to monitor the situation with them daily and will react to changes as they occur. Please understand that the regularity of visits may be disrupted. As your factor we will be keeping a record of contractor visits.
Some of our services do remain on hold.
- Stairwell cleaning, where this is currently provided.
- All non-emergency work to communal open spaces and within stairwells will remain on hold during this period.
- Any non-essential repairs will still be logged but will not be actioned until the restrictions are lifted. As you will be aware, we have no way of knowing when these restrictions will be lifted, we will be reviewing the current situation in line with Government guidance and reacting to any changes as promptly as possible.
- We have put up ‘CLOSED’ signs at play parks managed by us, as per Government and Local Authority guidance. Play Park inspections are also suspended.
- Site inspections by our factoring team may be limited due to the availability of staff. We will be putting other reporting and contractor performance management methods in place.
During this time our local emergency services are likely to be stretched, so please do take extra care to reduce the risk of fires by making sure that:
- No items are left in stairwells or corridors
- All rubbish is placed in bins – please do not leave refuse in communal areas
- All fire exits are kept clear
- You and all persons in your household know the evacuation procedure in the event of a fire in your property
- Please check that the smoke detectors within your property are operating correctly
We expect your local authority to maintain refuse collections during this time, although we are already aware of a reduction of services across the region.
Please do keep rubbish in tied bags and evenly distributed between your development bins. This is important to make sure that bin collections can take place, and that overflowing waste or dumped bulky items are not left blocking access, and to reduce the likelihood of attracting pests or rodents.
If you notice any refuse issues, please notify the team and we will liaise with the local authority and/or key contractors, as required
Paying Your Service Charge
It is important that you do not stop your regular payments either by standing order or direct debit. These payments include services which will continue uninterrupted, such as utility contracts and public liability insurance. It also covers any immediate need for emergency repairs and budgeted services which may continue or are required later in the year.
If you are personally impacted by COVID-19, please contact the team to discuss your situation.
You will not be charged for services for the period of the suspension. What this means is that for the duration of the suspension of services we will not invoice you for grounds maintenance or stairwell cleaning which has not been carried out.
We will continue to work with our contractors to provide cover for emergency work should this be required during this period. This will be provided only where the work is deemed an emergency and therefore cannot wait and will only be carried out in line with all safety precautions to protect our customers and contractors.
Staying in Contact
The factoring team is set up to work remotely and have robust systems in place to continue to work and handle any issues and enquiries.
We can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on the office line, 01349 855784, which is being diverted to staff mobiles.
We thank you for your understanding that our response times may be slower than we would normally work to. The phone line does only ring on one line instead of the usual three so we would ask that where possible you email us in the first instance.
During this period of remote working our ability to issue and receive letters by post is compromised. We will be communicating via email or text, where we hold one and posting updates on our website. Please visit www.highlandresidential.co.uk
We thank you for your continued understanding during what is an unprecedented, and rapidly developing situation. Stay safe and well.
Head of Highland Residential